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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jul 6, 2011 1:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Why Phil and Bobby?

One thing I have wondered about is why Phil and Bobby's musical skills seemed to atrophy during the mid '90's. I do not include the drummers b/c Drums was often the best part of the show then. In fact, I would go so far as to say some of the best drums were in the '90's when technology and skill met.
But, I don't understand why PL & BW seemed to give up. It would go against their stated ethic of not ripping the audience off, if they at least did not try. There were plenty of dates in the first 25 years were Jerry was off and they still came through. BW actually can play lead, for example.
Was it shell shock? Did they simply give up? If it was so bad, why even bother? Or was feeding the beast crowding out things like the quality of the music and rationality?

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Poster: deadheadhippy Date: Jul 8, 2011 7:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why Phil and Bobby?

THE DEAD DIED WITH JERRY THE REAMING MEMBERS CAN NEVER BRING BACK THE DEAD EXPIRENCE THEY TRY BUT IT DOSENT HAPPENTHE HEART AND SOUL OF THE BAND IS GONE. JUST ONE LONGE TIME HEADS OPION PEACE

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Jul 7, 2011 2:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why Phil and Bobby?

I blame a lot of it on them loving some technical aspects that didn't sound better to the human ear, at least not mine. I'll take Phils playing the four string over that six string modulas no matter what anyone says

Plus bored or not bored, Christ! Who else played that much variety for THAT many years? As far as I'm concerned just like Dylan they could shit away the rest of thier lives and would still have created more amazing stuff than anyone else I know

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Jul 6, 2011 3:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why Phil and Bobby?

I had a similar thought to bkidwell - I'm not certain their musical skills went into decline - the old codgers are still playing quite well, maybe not with the same energy and speed. If you're referring to composition, it's arguable; I prefer earlier material. If you mean "chops" - I think they had them, and still do.

Another thought more in line with your premise however - I think there's a certain laziness that creeps in when you've played hundreds of shows... lots of shortcuts taken, some things not so crisply done, and antics for the audience thrown in. And for these ears, too much reliance on special effects, synths and pedals... sometimes the toys distract from the playing.

Considering this was a music "cooperative" - at least leaderless in theory (not in practice) they meandered on quite well. Maybe just a few more valleys than peaks later on.

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Poster: wisconsindead Date: Jul 6, 2011 2:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why Phil and Bobby?

thats a good question. I guess i cant really comment too much as I listen to little 90's stuff. So i have no idea if i agree or not. Though i can say that i've heard most members connected with jerry the most on stage and therefore, when jerry was off, most of them lost their inspiration, or guide.

Maybe?

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Poster: adks12020 Date: Jul 7, 2011 5:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why Phil and Bobby?

I don't listen very much from the 90s but I it seems to me like they we all gettting pretty bored with it by then. I mean, look at the setlists. They always played covers but by the 90s they played shows that were 50/50 covers to originals sometimes. They weren't writing very many new songs. They had lost 2 great keyboard players and the new ones in the 90s were not a good fit. Add to that the fact that they were touring with the same band for 30+ years and I would imagine their creative juices weren't quite flowing the way they had before.

Plus Jerry seemed to really thrive with Grisman in the early 90s and I'm sure that made him lose his focus on the Dead.

Let's face it. We all may disagree on exactly what was the best period of the Grateful Dead's career but I don't know many that would say it was the 90s...and that means the whole band...not just Phil and Bobby. I don't think anyone but Jerry lost the chops and he still had them in the very early 90s. Listen the the Garcia Grisman stuff from then. I think they were just tired.

On a positive note Bobby and Phil seem to be having a great time in Furthur and the energy is palpable. Can't wait for Jones Beach and SPAC.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 6, 2011 10:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why Phil and Bobby?

Seems to me that when I've listened to post-Brent '90s, I've been struck by how much both of them were stepping up to bat, and how much Phil in particular was "on." IMO more so than, say, '82ish, when sometimes you can't even hear him. (I will optimistically attribute that to lack of SBDs instead of abundance of Heineken, but wouldn't stake much on a bet that way.) On the other hand, most '90s I've heard has been recs from folks here, so those are probably, by definition, The Good Ones and may not be representative of a typical night then for Phil and Bob ...

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Jul 6, 2011 2:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why Phil and Bobby?

I don't really accept the premise. In fact, I think Phil in particular seemed to step up his game in the last years. He was certainly singing more and writing songs again. As for Bobby, I would say he was generally more dependent on Jerry for musical direction. Even so, if Jerry didn't feel like stepping up to the opportunity of the pre-drums jam, Phil and Bobby would often gamely try to build some energy without him.

I actually don't think Jerry was nearly as uninterested and disconnected as is often portrayed, either. I think he was less and less interested in playing standard rock lead guitar, and more interested in the folk style he and David Grisman had been playing in, and also in the pseudo-classical style that the midi space jams often used. The early years of Jerry-Bobby space were often just a few minutes, but by the 90s, it was often 15 minutes of very diverse ideas. I think Jerry enjoyed some of it very much.

There is also the simple fact of getting older! Even back when I was a young whippersnapper I would get tremendously exhausted playing shows a lot shorter than even the 90s GD. I know Weir trashed his vocal cords so bad he had to have surgery sometime in 93, there are quite a few 93 shows where Weir's voice sounds so blown out I wince for him.

The in-ear monitoring and mixing system was a problem also I think. Phil says that during the last few years, he spent as much time running back and forth to his personal monitor mixing console as he did playing bass.

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Poster: BornEasement Date: Jul 7, 2011 7:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why Phil and Bobby?

I'm more confused about those two now. Mickey and Billy have continued pushing into somewhat new musical spaces, while Furthur sorta seems like a "lets go back and do what we used to do and try to ignore the fact that Jerry ain't here." It doesn't really seem in the spirit of the dead to me, but then again those guys were in the dead. I imagine they'd know quite a bit about the spirit of the dead that I do not.